Home Television Drama London’s Burning

London’s Burning

1 9 8 6 (UK)
1 9 8 8 – 2 0 0 2 (UK)
1 x 120 minute movie
170 x 60 minute episodes

LWT’s London’s Burning was a colourful stirring 1986 film which became a regular series in 1988.

Jack Rosenthal’s firemen, with nicknames like Charisma (because he had none), Sicknote (because he was always ill) and Vaseline (because he was slippery) were lazy loafers, doing odd jobs, taking the mickey out of each other, cheating on their wives . . .

But when the bell rang they were transformed into valiant life savers – The firefighters of Blue Watch, Blackwall Fire Station in East London.

In 1998 (at the start of Series 10) the show went into decline, with a change to the iconic theme tune of the show and the introduction of a lot of new characters and the killing off of favourites which started with John Hallam in Series 9, Georgiadis (Series 11), Sicknote (Series 12) and finally Recall (Series 14).

When they killed off Sicknote, he was the last character from the Pilot movie, leaving George as the only character to remain in the show from the first series.

Further changes included the direction of the show, taking the focus off firefighting (hello?!) and by the end of series 14 London’s Burning was more of a soap opera/melodrama of the characters lives with almost no “shouts”.

The ratings of the show – which had been consistently high during the 1990’s – fell drastically and in 2002 – after 14 years and 171 episodes – Blue Watch responded to their last shout.

London’s Burning had come to a rather disappointing end.

George Green
Glen Murphy
Roland ‘Vaseline’ Cartwright

Mark Arden 
Mike ‘Bayleaf’ Wilson

James Hazeldine
Sidney Tate 

James Marcus 
John Hallam 

Sean Blowers
Malcolm Cross 

Rupert Baker 
Bert ‘Sicknote’ Quigley 

Richard Walsh 
Leslie ‘Charisma’ Appleby 

Gerard Horan
Geoffrey ‘Poison’ Pearce
Michael Garner
Stuart ‘Recall’ McKenzie
Ben Onwukwe
Josie Ingham
Katharine Rogers

Gary McDonald 

Eric Deacon 

Jerome Flynn